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100 Great Playwrights of the World

Kumar Paral is a writer, a culture enthusiast, and a bibliophile.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Top 100 Plays in the World

Plays are one of the oldest genres of literature in the world. The origin of plays is believed to be from the folk dramas which were performed during special occasions or harvest festivals and also from the religious moralities which were prepared for making the followers of the religion informed about the basic tenets of religious philosophy. The earliest classic plays were written in India in Sanskrit, and in Greek in Greece. The most reputed Greek playwrights were Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. The most famous dramatists of ancient India were Kalidasa, Bhasa, Bhavabhuti, Sudraka and Visaka Datta. The plays written by them were still unparalleled in the history of world literature.

Top 100 Dramatists of All Time

The most of the famous languages of the world today were formed later and they followed and perfected the earlier models in dramatic art and literature. Shakespeare, Seneca, and many others re- established the the pre eminence of drama through their matchless creativity and unique talents. The drama developed blending various local artistic elements to the present form of the it. Till the beginning of the motion films, it was the plays that ruled the world of entertainment than any other form of art in the world. No other art form can claim the involvement of the audience like that of plays till now.

Samuel Beckett, Ireland

Samuel Beckett, Ireland

Samuel Beckett, Ireland

The advent of cinema has had a great impact on plays. It has lost the earlier ground in the world. Majority of the playwrights, actors, technicians and other persons related with it moved in to the world of cinema. Still, plays are performed, appreciated and discussed, though it lost the vibrancy. The cinema or soap operas cannot satisfy the intellectual acumen.

The “TOP 100 PLAYWRIGHTS OF THE WORLD” is my favorite list playwrights and dramatists of the world. They are selected after referring the earlier such lists and personal research for years. Opinions and critical comments are welcome.

Top 10 Playwrights of the World


William Shakespeare, Britain


Kalidasa, India


Sopocles, Greece


Samuel Beckett, Ireland


Guan Hanqing, China


Christopher Marlowe, Britain


Henrik Ibsen, Norway


Moliere, France


Bhasa, India


Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigeria

Girish Karnad, India

Girish Karnad, India

Top 100 Playwrights of the World ( 1- 50 )

  1. William Shakepeare, Brirtain
  2. Kalidasa, India
  3. Sopocles, Greece
  4. Samuel Beckett, Ireland
  5. Guan Hanqing, China
  6. Christopher Marlowe, Britain
  7. Henrik Ibsen, Norway
  8. Moliere, France
  9. Bhasa, India
  10. Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigeria
  11. Ben Johnson, Britain
  12. Xiong Foxi, China
  13. Xia Yan, China
  14. Tayeb Seddiki, Morocco
  15. Toyin Abiodun, Nigeria
  16. Sefi Atta, Nigeria
  17. Arthur Miller, US
  18. Sudraka, India
  19. Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Japan
  20. John Millington Synge, Ireland
  21. Eugene O’Neill, US
  22. Ediriweera Sarachchandra
  23. Anton Chekhov, Russia
  24. Euripides, Greece
  25. Abdallah Zrika, Morocco
  26. Pedro Pietri, Puerto Rico
  27. Asiedu Yirenkyi,Ghana
  28. Bahram Bayzai, Iran
  29. Bertolt Brecht, Germany
  30. JP Sartre, France
  31. Sugathapala De Silva
  32. Tom Stoppard, Britain
  33. Stanley Makuwe,
  34. Vishakhadatta, India
  35. Karel Čapek, Czech Republic
  36. Grigol Robakidze , Georgia
  37. Avraham Shlonsky, Israel
  38. Oliver Goldsmith, Britain
  39. Jean Genet, France
  40. Rabindra Natha Tagore, India
  41. Wole Soyinka, Nigeria
  42. Ama Ata Aidoo,Ghana
  43. Aristrophanes, Greece
  44. Aeschylus, Greece
  45. Girish Karnad, India
  46. Sean O'Casey, Ireland
  47. Benjamin Kent,
  48. Vijay Tendulkar, India
  49. Magsud Ibrahimbeyov, Azerbaijan
  50. Momtazuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh

Anton Chekov, Russia

Anton Chekov, Russia

Anton Chekov, Russia

Top 100 Playwrights of the World (51 - 80)

51 Bhavabhuti, India

52 Richard Brinsley Sheridan

53 Edward Albee

54 Bode Sowande, Nigeria

55 Goethe, Germany

56 Albert Camus, France

57 Eugene Ionesco, France

58 T.S. Eliot, Britain

59 Christopher Fry, Britain

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60 John Osborne, Britain

61 Arnold Wesker, Britain

62 William Congreve, Britain

63 Harold Pinter, Britain

64 Samwel Soko Osebe

65 Viswanatha Kaviraja,India

66 Solomon Ettinger, Poland

67 António Gedeão, Portugal

68 Habib Tanvir, India

69 Nordahl Grieg, Norway

70 Mirza Adeeb, Pakistan

71 George Bernard Shaw, US

72 Augusto Boal, Brazil

73 Efua Sutherland, Ghana

74 Agathon, Greece

75 Akbar Radi, Iran

76 N N Pillai, India

77 Oscar Wilde, US

78 Seami Motokiyo Zeami, Japan

79 N Krishna Pillai, India

80 Biyi Bandele, Nigeria

Top 100 Playwrights of the World (80- 100)

81 Abdullah Al Mamun,Bangladesh

82 Abdelkebir Khatibi, Morocco

83 Caio Fernando Abreu,Brazil

84 Miguel Piñero, Puerto Rico

85 Pîremêrd, Turkey

86 Pär Lagerkvist, Sweden

87 Stig Dagerman, Sweden

88 Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol, Russia

89 Menander, Greece

90 Vidadi Babanli, Azerbaijan

91 Mamunur Rashid, Bangladesh

92 Paul Kornfeld, Czech Republic

93 David Kldiashvili, Georgia

94 Tennessee Williams, US

95 Nathan Alterman, Israel

96 Gunnar Heiberg, Norway

97 Haseena Moin, Pakistan

98 Aleksander Fredro, Poland

99 José Saramago, Portugal

100 Atwine Bashir Kenneth

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Kumar Paral

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